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REACH OUT AND TOUCH FAITH: HAPTIC RECIPROCITY IN MILTON’S PARADISE LOST

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title
REACH OUT AND TOUCH FAITH: HAPTIC RECIPROCITY IN MILTON’S PARADISE LOST
author
Ricks, Ryan
abstract
This thesis explores moments of contact and touch within Paradise Lost in the context of Milton's much-discussed material monism. I argue that touch operates in the poem in accordance with Milton's monism as a process of unification and merging that occurs on both corporeal and spiritual planes. Touch in Paradise Lost, I contend, generates a notion of 'haptic reciprocity' that destabilizes hierarchies and distinctions between man and God, man and woman, and subject and object. I frame my project by exploring three tactile poles: divine contact between Milton himself and God, and kiss and hand-holding between Adam and Eve. To strengthen my argument, I draw on a wide range of sources, including premodern ontology, Medieval mysticism, and the philosophy of touch. Ultimately, by offering a haptic reading of Milton's complicated metaphysics, I attempt to uncover the essence of Milton's spirituality within materiality.
subject
Early Modern Literature
Haptic Theory
John Milton
Metaphysics
Paradise Lost
Touch
contributor
Rapaport, Herman (committee chair)
Holdridge, Jefferson (committee member)
Pyke, Jenny (committee member)
date
2021-06-03T08:35:57Z (accessioned)
2021-06-03T08:35:57Z (available)
2021 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/98790 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
type
Thesis

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